The afternoon was devoted to the “Summit Meeting of World Wine in China”. There were some delicious wines to taste from Changyu, the company for whom I used to make wine in Xinjiang. The Gala dinner that night was magnificent and hosted by the big boss himself – Delin Ye. he not only owned the hotel and the wooden palace where we had had lunch, but also the New-Pearl Wine Company, the New-Pearl Ceramics Group, a golf club and numerous other companies. He made long speech and presented us all with two bottles of Moutai Baijiu. A glittering event with great Chinese food.
On Friday, after Dim Sum as usual, we set off for Guangzhou where we were lodged in the magnificent Westin Pazhou Hotel, but so bad was the traffic that I was almost late for my Masterclass on Bordeaux at the Interwine Fair at the China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex. However, I made it by the skin of my teeth, lectured to a full house on how to taste professionally and on the 2018 vintage in Bordeaux, and felt that I had done a good job.
Exhausted, Nick then took me back to our hotel where we had lunch in my room before a rest. That evening was a glittering Gala dinner in the Ballroom on the top floor of the Westin. Each Master of Wine had to give a short speech, which was a small price to pay for the magnificent Chinese banquet.
The next day (Saturday) was the exhibition all day after a superlative Dim Sum breakfast. I visited many stands, including that of Changyu where, as a past chief winemaker, I was graciously received.
Because that evening I was to be a guest of Wine Arts, a fine wine importer specialising in fine Italian wines, we only had a snack lunch at the fair. I commented the wines for mine host, greatly appreciated his Feudi del Pisciotto wines and thoroughly enjoyed the special treat offered to me in my honour of baked hairy crab and yellow wine.
The next day, Sunday, was our last day and I received a visit from Aileen Lee of the Beijing Yunjiu Media Company Ltd. for whom I had written a long article on Baijiu. Nick organised a very special lunch in the famous Nanhai Fish Village Seafoodrestaurant, where we enjoyed lobster, crab and shrimp in abundance.
Extenuated, we spent that afternoon drinking tea and packing all the numerous gifts of tea, wine and rice spirit that I had received during the week. Thoughtfully, Nick took me to an amazing fish restaurant on the way to the airport where we enjoyed marinated raw shrimp. With typical courtesy he saw me to the airport, into a wheelchair, through security and on the way back to Bordeaux full of happy memories, great hospitality and fine Chinese cuisine.
John Salvi, Master of Wine